The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption
by John Flavel
File 38
(... continued from file 37)

                           The Conclusion 
    And now, reader, if all my discourses of the method of Christ 
in purchasing the great salvation for us, and the way of the Spirit 
in applying it, and making it effectual to God's elect; thou hast 
two wonders before thine eyes, either of which may astonish thy 
soul, in the consideration of them, viz. 
    1. This admirable grace of God in preparing this great 
    2. The desperate wickedness of man in rejecting this great 
    First, Behold the riches of the goodness and mercy of God in 
preparing such a remedy as this for lost man. This is that which is 
justly called "The great mystery of godliness," 1 Tim. 3: 16. that 
mystery which the prophets inquired diligently after, yea, which the 
"angels desired to look into," 1 Pet. 1: 10, 12. In this glorious 
mystery of redemption, that "polutoikilos sofia", manifold wisdom of 
God, or that wisdom which has such curious and admirable variety in 
it, is illustriously displayed, Eph. 4: 10. Yea, the contrivance of 
our redemption, this way, is the most glorious display of divine 
love that ever was made, or can be made, in this world to the 
children of men; for so the apostle will be understood, when he 
saith, Rom. 5: 8. "Sonisesi tes heautou agapen", - God has set 
forth, or presented his love to man in the most engaging manner, in 
a way that commends it beyond all compare to the acceptation of men. 
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that 
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," 1 Tim. 1: 15. It 
might be justly expected, that when this glorious mystery should 
come to be published by the gospel in the ears of sinners, all eyes 
should be withdrawn from all other objects, and fixed with 
admiration upon Christ, all hearts should be ravished with these 
glad tidings; and every man pressing to Christ with the greatest 
zeal and diligence. But behold, instead thereof, 
    Secondly, The desperate wickedness of the world, in rejecting 
the only remedy prepared for them. This was long since foretold by 
the prophet, Isa. 53: 3. "He is despised and rejected of men, a man 
of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid our faces from 
him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." His poor and mean 
appearance, which should endear him beyond all considerations to the 
souls of men, (since it was for their sakes, that he emptied himself 
of all his glory) yet this lays him under contempt, he is looked on 
as the very outcast of men, when his own love to man had emptied him 
of all his riches, the wickedness of men loaded him with contempt, 
and as it was prophesied of him, so it was, and at this day is sadly 
verified all the world over; for, 
    First, The Pagan world has no knowledge of him, they are lost 
in darkness. "God has suffered them to walk in their own ways," Acts 
14: 16. 
    Secondly, The Mahometans which overspread so great a part of 
the world reject him, and instead of the blessed gospel, which they 
hiss at with abhorrence, embrace the blasphemous and ridiculous 
Alcoran, which they confidently affirm came down from God 
immediately in that Laylatto Hanzili (as they call it) the night of 
demission, calling all Christians, Cafirouna, i.e. Infidels. 
    Thirdly, The Jews reject him with abhorrence, and spit at his 
very name, and being blind-folded by the devil, they call Jesus 
Anathema, 1 Cor. 12: 3. And in a blind zeal for Moses, blaspheme him 
as an impostor. "He came to his own, and his own received him not," 
John 1: 11. 
    Fourthly, The far greater part of the Christianised world 
reject him; those that are called after his name, will not submit to 
his government. The nobles of the world think themselves dishonoured 
by submitting their necks to his yoke. The sensualists of the world 
will not deny their lusts, or forsake their pleasures, for all the 
treasures of righteousness, life and peace, which his blood has 
purchased. Worldlings of the earth prefer the dirt and dung of the 
world before him; and few there be among them that profess 
Christianity, who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. The only reason 
why they are called Christians is, because, by the advantageous cast 
of providence, they were born and educated in a nation where 
Christianity is professed and established by the laws of the 
country; and if the wind should turn, and the public authority think 
fit to establish another religion, they can shift their sail, and 
steer a contrary course. 
    But now, reader, let me tell thee, that if ever God send forth 
these two grim sergeants, his law, and thine own conscience, to 
arrest thee for thy sins, if thou find thyself dragged away by them 
towards that prison from whence none return, that are once clapt up 
therein, and that in this unspeakable distress Jesus Christ manifest 
himself to thy soul, and open thy heart to receive him, and become 
thy surety with God, pay all thy debts, and cancel all thy 
obligations, thou wilt love him at another rate than others do; his 
blood will run deeper in thine eves than it does in the shallow 
apprehensions of the world; he will be altogether lovely, and thou 
wilt account all things but dung and dross in comparison of the 
excellency of Jesus Christ thy Lord. To work thy heart to this 
frame, these things are written, which the Lord prosper upon thy 
soul, by the blessing of his good Spirit upon thee. 
                  Blessed be God for Jesus Christ! 

The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption
(... concluded)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: flamt-38.txt